Saturday, December 04, 2010

Lots Of Moves Affecting the Cubs...

- The Red Sox are on the verge of trading for Adrian Gonzalez and signing him to an extension around the amount Ryan Howard signed for to stay in Phillie. The Cubs reportedly made a trade offer to the Padres that was rumored to include Andrew Cashner, Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Carpenter, and another unknown player but the Padres were not impressed.

Once this trade if finalized it is likely the Red Sox will up their pursuit on Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth according to Buster Onley. The Sox want to acquire at least one of the two and if that is the case the Red Sox could make Jacoby Ellsbury available. Someone the Cubs have been linked to in recent weeks. The unfortunate thing is this will likely end the Red Sox pursuit of a third baseman which means they would have no interest in Aramis Ramirez.

After all this is said and done it seems A-Gone will not be a Cub and Aram will not be a Red Sox.

- According to sources the Cubs have interest in Paul Konerko but he is wanting a multi-year deal so I think this is just a pipe dream.

- The Cubs and Nationals have stepped up their pursuit of Brandon Webb and both have become the favorite to sign the former Cy Young Award winner.

- The Cubs still have interest in Chris Davis, in fact Bleacher Nation says the Cubs are about to acquire him from the Rangers for either Welington Castillo or Robinson Chirinos. Both are young catchers ready for the big leagues. It is likely Castillo gets traded because the front office is not to high on him but honestly I would trade Chirinos because Castillo looks the like the better overall catcher. After this move is made it will likely mean Hill will battle whoever is left for Geovany Soto's backup.

- If the Cubs complete the trade with the Rangers they could use the money they were going to spend on a 1st baseman to sign Orlando Hudson and Kerry Wood. Expect a domino effect when the Cubs pull off their first move.

- If the deal for Chris Davis falls through then they will likely sign either Carlos Pena or Lance Berkman.

Until Next Time...

Friday, December 03, 2010

A Cubs Legend Passes

Cubs legend Ron Santo died today in Arizona at the age of 70 of complications from bladder cancer. Ron spent 14 years in the Major Leagues at third base all but one with the Chicago Cubs. Ron Santo was well known for many things but being on the forefront of helping fight diabetes is what made him a hero not to just baseball fans but to everyone. Santo played 80% of his career with diabetes but concealed it for many reason. It eventually required the amputation of both his legs. He was a spoke person for JDRF and raised money and awareness for the disease that affects millions of people world wide.

During Ron Santo’s playing career he put great numbers. He batted .277 with a .362 OBP, 342 career HR, 365 2 baggers, in 2,243 games, all while battling diabetes. The other things that stuck out in his baseball career is his 5 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, he was 9 time All-Star, and Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner. Santo lead baseball and the National League in so many categories during his era. Stats that were later passed by the great Mike Schmidt. Because of this there have been long debates on whether Ron Santo should or should not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most baseball fans in general agree he should be inducted while writers and the Veterans Committee disagree and have kept him out of the Hall since 1980 when he was first eligible. Ron Santo was a great baseball player and had his Cubs number 10 retired in 2003 saying “This is my Hall of Fame”

In 1990 the Cubs brought Ron Santo back to Chicago as the WGN radio color commentator working with play-by-play man Pat Hughes. From that day forward he brought my generation and other younger fans a glimpse into Ron Santo’s undying devotion to the Chicago Cubs. He was just like any typical Cub fan with the yelling, cheering, sadness, disappointment, and most importantly optimism. Not only do I think Ron Santo is a HOF player he is a HOF broadcaster. It just will not be the same tuning into WGN radio and not hearing Ronnie’s voice. He will be truly missed.

I was too young to see the Ron Santo era and did not have the privilege of meeting him but I like many fans, looked up to Ron Santo. He has accomplished so much in his life regardless of adversity. I will forever remember the times Ron giving it to Pat about the ugly sweaters he wears, the way Pat always insinuates that Ron has a ton of money, the day Ronnie yelled Ohhhhh Noooo! when Brant Brown dropped a fly ball against the Brewers, Pat taking about Ron’s rug, the celebration after the Cubs won the division in 2007, etc… We were truly blessed as fans to have Ron and Pat do Cubs game that is for sure.

Ron Santo was more than an announcer, an All-Star baseball player, and a Cubs fan; he was a fantastic person for everyone to look up to. He did so much for some many people and this is a very sad day for anyone who had a moment with Ron Santo. Ron is now clicking his heels in that Hall of Fame in the sky.

Thanks for everything Ron, you will be missed!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tendering and Signing

- Erik Bedard will not be a Cub, he signed a one year non-guaranteed contract with Seattle.

- Adam Dunn landed in Chicago, the Southside that is. He signed a 4 year 56 million dollar contract today. It is a little less than what he was asking but that could benefit the Cubs because he has drove down in the market for 2nd baseman some.

- The Cubs tendered contracts to all players eligible. Including Jeff Baker who will make over a million dollars next season. What a waste to tender contracts to Baker and Hill. STUPID!

- Carlos Marmol and the Cubs are in the early stages of an extension.

- The Cubs have interest in non-tender relievers from the Southside; Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets.

- The Red Sox are making a push to add either Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth to their outfield. If they do sign one of them then they could use Jacoby Ellsbury or JD Drew as trade bait for a 3rd baseman. It is unlikely that the BoSox would sign either Crawford or Werth and Beltre. This could spark more rumors involving the Cubs sending Aramis Ramirez to Boston for Ellsbury. We have already heard a lot of talk about the two before.

- The Cubs are interested in signing several non-tender candidates to contracts (mostly minor league) besides Jenks and Threets listed above. They like Edwin Encarnacion, Hideki Okajima, and Dustin Mosely.

- The Cubs are expected to be very busy over the next two weeks. Hendry hopes to have a 1st baseman, relief pitcher, and starting pitcher in place before December ends at the latest. He hopes to get the majority of his players during the winter meetings or at least set the ground work for trades or start offer contracts to players.

Should be really fun next week! As always we will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Rumors and a Riot!

Ryan Theriot is a Cardinal and he wasted no time taking shots at the Cubs. Here are some quotes from “The Riot”-

-"I'm finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry"

-"Once I got to pro ball, it was almost an afterthought," "It really wasn't talked about too much. It was like an unattainable goal. And now, being here with an organization like this, it's right there for the taking." – talking about a WS championship in Chicago and how it is different from St. Louis.

- "I won two divisions at shortstop"

I have to say I am not surprised at the comments since he took the Cubs to arbitration and lost. He has had a chip on his shoulder since then and held a grudge against the Cubs for making him change positions. I think all Ryan is doing is fueling a flame on the Cubs/Card rivalry and it is working. His comments are disgusting from a Cubs fan standpoint saying the Cubs did not want to win a championship is ridiculous and how HE won two divisions (my ass, the Cubs won two division with him at SS).

I for one am very happy that the Cards picked up Theriot. Now instead of cringing every time a roller goes to Ryan, I will cheer because I know even Carlos Zambrano can beat out a Theriot throw from short. Congrats Cards you got a utility player as your starting shortstop next season. I hope you enjoy the lack of range, arm, and OPS Ryan brings to the table!

- The Cubs major issue is they are strapped for cash so deals will have to be team friendly to happen.

- The Cubs think Carlos Pena is their guy because he brings great defense and power from the left side. Not to mention he is willing to sign a one year deal.

- The Cubs may have to expand payroll because their contract demands need to “get a realty check” according to Levine.

- Lance Berkman is asking for a one-year deal worth 7 million and the A’s might give it to him. If that is the asking price for Berkman the Cubs will pass.

- Brandon Webb is a big target for the Cubs.

- Adam Dunn will not be a Cub next season.

- The Cubs have no pressure to trade Fukudome. To me they may want to build trade value for him by saying they want to keep him.

- The Cubs checked in on James Loney but the Dodgers say he is not available at this time.

- Jason Frasor is staying with the Jays. He accepted arbitration.

- Mark Riggins is the favorite to be named Pitching Coach. An announcement could be made at the Winter Meetings.

- If the Cubs non-tender Hill and Baker they will likely go in house to replace them. But there have been rumors the Cubs like Bill Hall and Felipe Lopez both.

- The Red Sox have called the Cubs about Aramis Ramirez and are expected to talk more at the Winter Meetings.

Until Next Time…

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Hot Stove is Getting Hotter!

Here is the latest from the Hot Stove….

- The Cubs are interested in Orlando Hudson because they do not have complete faith in Darwin Barney or Blake DeWitt as a full time 2nd baseman. Hudson will likely get a one-year deal worth between 3-5 million coming off a down year. I hear Hudson becomes more likely if they acquire a cheap 1st baseman such as trading for Adrian Gonzalez or Chris Davis. Or maybe even signing a guy like Lance Berkman, Brad Hawpe, or Nick Johnson.

- Bruce Miles says the Cubs have no interest in Vicente Padilla and even stated they had a chance to get him the past couple seasons and passed.

- The Cubs planned on offering Javier Vazquez a deal but he signed with the Marlins before anything was offered.

- The Cubs also lost out on another pitcher in Jorge De La Rosa, he signed with the Rockies.

- After Jim evaluated the market for starters it seems Jim has turned his attention to in Bruce Levine’s words “former star pitchers who have had injury problems of the past few seasons.” The Cubs like Jeff Francis, Aaron Harang, Erik Bedard, and Brandon Webb.

- The Cubs have had conversations with the agents of most of the pitchers above and are asking for medical files and where they are in conditioning. The Cubs are also seeing what the agents contract demands are for each player.

- Jim Hendry loves Erik Bedard and almost traded for him in a couple of occasions but it seems their top target is Brandon Webb.

- The Cubs would love to bring Carlos Pena’s power and glove to Wrigley Field. It has been rumored that Pena maybe wanting to re-establish his value much like Adrian Beltre did with Boston. Bruce Miles said the Cubs would be “happy to sign Pena for one year” but they are not going to give many years to a guy like Pena.

- Lance Berkman is going to meet with the A’s on Tuesday but the Cubs are still interested. It all comes down to money.

- The Cubs are one of several teams interested in Jesse Crain according to Peter Gammons. He is a 29 year old Type B free agent righty who had a 3.04 ERA with Minnesota last season.

- The Cubs plan on offer contracts with Marmol, Marshall, Gorzelanny, and Soto but Koyie Hill and Jeff Baker could get tricky. If the Cubs do not like Hill’s or Baker’s contract demands then they will non-tender them. Paying anything over 1 million for each player is a mistake.

- If the Cubs non-tender Baker they could use that money to sign a guy like Bill Hall or Andy LaRoche.

- The Cubs do not expect to make any moves until Thursday’s non-tender deadline. The Cubs could find themselves a player or two in that group.

Until Next Time…

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Tangled Webb.

- Ed Price of MLB fanhouse said the Cubs are interested in former NL Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb. Webb is coming off shoulder surgery but has been throwing the ball this off season. His agent thinks he can throw 180-200 innings this season and be as dominate or close to as dominate as he was before the injury. The Cubs and Webb seem like a good match-up considering the Cubs money issues and Webb only wanting a one year deal loaded with incentives. To me this makes the most sense for the Cubs.

- Rosenthal said the Cubs and Brandon Webb have mutual interest but it is still early in the process. Sources have confirmed that Jim Hendry has contacted Webb's agent on more than one occasion.

- If the Cubs lose out on Webb then they will turn their attention to Erik Bedard or Jeff Francis. Both are in similar boats as Webb but with not as high of a ceiling. If I was Jim I would go for Webb and if I do not get him then go after Padilla or Harang.

- The Cubs have some interest in Brad Hawpe for their first base vacancy. I honestly see him more of a bench guy than anything.

- The Cubs view Chris Archer as a top 10 pitcher in the ML in a couple years.

- Brett Jackson will likely take the same track as Castro this season and get a call up around May.

- Chris Carpenter could be a option for the bullpen while Archer and Cashner could make their way into the starting rotation sometime this season.

Until Next Time...